On Being Vunerable- The TalkPosted: March 19, 2014
yesterday i talked about a pretty brutal EMS call i had on a monday morning.
it was tuesday, and Sonia had called that she was on her way over. she got to the apartment, paid the cab, came back upstairs and i heard, “Ciao Regattzo mio” (hey baby). i was sitting on the sofa with my balcony doors open staring out at the countryside (i had an AMAZING view).
i didn’t respond.
she sat next to me and asked me what was wrong. i shook my head and told her it was “work shit”. she asked me if i wanted a drink and i told her no. she asked if she needed to go across the street and get me something to eat- again, i shook my head no. she put her her arm on my shoulder and placed her face close to mine staring me eye-to-eye.
“Danny, come stai” (Danny, whats going on?)
i told her i didn’t want to talk about it. then she asked me when was the last time i’d eaten. i told her sunday night at work. now this was VERY unusual for me. back then i was in the gym 3-4 times a week back then and i ate like a fucking horse. she grabbed me hand and told me we were going for a walk.
she wanted to get me out the house.
we walked to a local restaurant that was a local fave. she ordered me “penne aragosto” (penne and lobster), which was my favorite. i picked at it as she ate her meal. when she finished, she got my food to go (i ate about half of it) and we walked home. i was a BIT cheerier and more close to my normal self by the time we got home. she was telling me about school and her sister wanting to break up with her man- you know female chatter.
we got home and she put in a movie for me and told me she was going to clean up a little. i could her doing dishes and then about 10 minutes into the the movie i heard the most horrific screaming i’d ever heard in a house. i ran to the kitchen where there’s a small room where my washer and dryer were.
i saw her staring at her hands which were covered in blood.
when i got off work i just took off my jumper and threw it in the hampper. she grabbed it, felt it was wet, looked at her hands, saw blood and went ape shit. she let out a series of, “AHHHHH!!! AHHHHHH!, AHHHHH!!!”‘s. the jumper was on the ground, i grabbed her ran her to the sink and washed her hands off.
she was shaking and sobbing.
i took her into the living room and told her that my uniform was bloody from an emergency call i had early monday morning around 5am. i explained to her that aside from working on a hospital ward i did emergency medicine. i needed to explain it because italian EMS involves them scooping you up and taking to an ER. they don’t physically work on patients.
i told her what i could about the accident but didn’t get into the gory details. she asked me if he lived and i told her he was probably dead when i got on scene. i told her the blood was from when i was doing chest compressions while sitting on his chest, but each time i did he bled even more.
she teared up and started crying. she threw her arm around me sobbing and telling me over and over she was sorry. she asked how long i’d done that kind of work and i told her about 4 years. i told her i was starting to have nightmares, where i saw the faces and the bodies of patients i’d worked on over the years.
she let go of me, eyes wide and said, “in fatti” (of course). i asked her what she meant and she said NOW she knew why i’d wake up yelling (i’d done that on 2 occasions and it freaked her out. i told her it was a bad dream). and she told told me i talked in my sleep, i’d groan and she said it sounded like i was fighting.
i told her i was probably dreaming of a patient i was working on. she asked me how many people i’d seen die. i didn’t lie to her, i told her i couldn’t say an exact number….but a lot.
up until this moment i had NEVER opened up about myself to this capacity to a woman. only my mom and other medics were the olny people i had spoken with about any of this crap. we were about 4 months into the relationship and it had moved into the “serious” phase. i was hers, but i was still guarded.
i was only 24-25 years old. and talking about “our feelings” just isn’t in most men. we bottle that shit up, and shove it away into the dark recesses of our psyche. besides, this was the same woman that freaked out watching and american movie that showed a man getting shot in the head. as if i were going to tell her about the kid that got hit by a car, of the chick that hydroplaned that wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and her brains were all over car’s interior.
it looked like the scene in pulp fiction where vincent shot marvin in the face. seriously.
what i find fascinating about women is how they can ALWAYS tell when something is troubling their men. but even though i was obviously NOT ok, she didn’t pry. i guess once she saw my mood had improved slightly, she just let it go.
but i also learned once you tell your women, “i really can’t tell you.” they HAVE to know. honestly, had she not found the jumper, i never would mentioned the incident. but after “the talk” i knew we’d grown closer. she knew something about me that was HERS, and hers alone. and women need that in their men. it’s what made me HER man and not just some guy she knew.
as for the jumper, i put it in a trash bag and threw it away. we never mentioned “work” again. lol. i told this story to a woman i work with who’s husband is an Afghan vet and she nodded at all the shit i described, “D****** talks in his sleep too. he’s woken up more than once frightened.”